The 2014 OTA's kicked off with an unlikely cut up, none other than Luke Kuechly who switched jersey's with Chase Blackburn to throw the local media a curveball.
Cam Newton was escorted out of the tunnels on a cart, which at first caused me concern. When Cam saw his picture being taken, he hid behind his jersey in a clowning manner.
Although he did walk with a hobble, Cam was able to participate partially by throwing the ball. A great sign for Panthers fans.
During warmups, Cam was visibly excited about the wingspan of Kelvin Benjamin and the possibilities it presents.
Kelvin looked good in drills but was frustrated by the cornerbacks. At one point he got into a scuffle with Dockery. Nothing major, no punches thrown, but it was apparent Kelvin does not take to kindly to being covered tightly. Something he will need to work on. It was broken up quickly. I was actually happy to see the rookie stand up to a vet.
Obligatory Tiquan Underwood hair shot....
Underwood had a solid day. He caught several nice passes. On one play he was able to get behind Russell and Byndom, two undrafted rookies, for a 30 yard gain. Underwood also looked impressive over the middle.
As expected, Kugbilla spent the day on the bike and on the sidelines working on his conditioning. He did not have the day off by any means, but was not active on the playing field.
This new group of receivers seem to already have a nice chemistry going. Which is important.
General Observations of the day, in no particular order ...
- Bell and Chandler both had equal time at both left and right tackle throughout the day. We won't know who goes where until August.
- At one point Trai Turner was put in at first string right guard next to Nate Chandler. I must admit the prospect of Chandler and Turner blocking next to each other in the run game was exciting to see.
- Philly Brown was a winner today and had the best play of the day, a nice over the top TD where he beat Josh Thomas.
- Ben Jacobs had a nice INT on a terribly thrown Derek Anderson pass.
- Cotchery had a really nice sideline grab tight between two defenders.
- Kenjon Barner had a rough day. He was stifled most of the time at the line and ended practice in a shoulder sling.
- AJ Klein earned high praise from the coaching staff during practice. "Great Call AJ!" was heard. Klein is making a name for himself as a student of the game.
- Roman Harper was SS and Thomas DeCoud was FS for the starting unit.
- Denicos Allen had a really nice tip that would have been a completion. He plays bigger than his size.
- Joe Webb looked very rusty and did not throw well.